Netgear Upgrades SMB Networking Products

The switches include a 24-port and 48-port model plus a 48-port model with 24 Power Over Ethernet (PoE) ports. All three units come with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and are aimed at the small- and midsize-business market, according to Peter Newton, senior product line manager at Netgear, Santa Clara, Calif.

Netgear fortified the new ProSafe switches with advanced network management features similar to those of managed switches, including 801.x port-based access control, port trunking for increased bandwidth and Layer 3 packet prioritization, all of which are accessed through a simple, Web-based interface, said Newton.

The ProSafe architecture was designed to allow switches to be arranged in stacks and connected through standard Gigabit Ethernet ports, according to Newton. Netgear developed a proprietary protocol that allows the switches to communicate, which simplifies the task of managing multiple units, he said.

"The ability for the switches to pass information between each other makes it possible for them to be managed as a single switch," Newton said.

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This week, Netgear also introduced the ProSafe Dual Band Wireless Access Point (WAG102), an 802.11g/a product that supports simultaneous connections on the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands and speeds of up to 108 Mbps. Also earmarked for the SMB market, the product incorporates strong security in the form of Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 Enterprise (WPA2-Enterprise) and 802.11i. It also includes PoE support.

The addition of PoE reflects companies' growing interest in connecting devices such as video surveillance cameras, VoIP phones and wireless access points to their networks, Newton said.

The ProSafe 24 port stackable smart switch (FS728TS) has a list price of $350, and the ProSafe 48 port switch (FS752TS) sells for $660. Both are available now. The ProSafe 48 port switch with PoE is priced at $1,050 and will be available next month. The ProSafe Dual Band Wireless Access Point (WAG102) is available now at a list price of $279.